Sorry, but You’re Using Paper Towels All Wrong

You never thought using paper towels could be complicated, but it's about to get that way, and it's only going to take two words: interstitial suspension. What does that mean? It means you've been using paper towels wrong your whole life.


In a Tedx Talk, Joe Smith explains that your handful of paper towels is quickly killing the earth, and it doesn't need to be that way. His earth-saving technique involves two steps: shake and fold. 

The shake part just means shaking your hands a bunch after washing to get off excess water. You might look dumb, but easy enough, right?

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The fold part is where interstitial suspension comes in. By folding your paper towels, you're creating extra space between each layer in which water particles can get trapped. Got it? Good. Here's Smith's full explanation:

Yes, this is basically just a video of a grandpa drying his hands for four and half minutes, but look: He's probably right. We do use too many paper towels, and if folding them in half is going to reduce our paper towel waste by 75 percent, then I'm certainly going to try it. You should, too.


Image via Igor Normann/shutterstock

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